UK Immigration Rules are constantly changing, especially post-Brexit . We act for a variety of clients including UK businesses seeking to recruit talent from outside the UK, overseas businesses wishing to expand into the UK and high-net-worth individuals and families wishing to relocate to the UK.
We are able to assist with the practical aspects of immigration as well as the law itself and provide tailored advice to ensure that you are fully prepared to meet the UK Home Office requirements in the context of the various different visa categories.
For overseas businesses or individuals wishing to come to the UK we set out below the broad official categories of application. Each category contains specific visa criteria which might fit your circumstances.
1. Business development and talent visas
Innovator visa – you are an experienced businessperson, who has relevant skills and entrepreneur experience, seeking to set up and run an innovative business in the UK.
Start-up visa – you are a new entrepreneur seeking to set up and run an innovative business in the UK.
Global Talent visa – you are a talented and promising individual in academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology, planning to contribute professionally to the UK or to your field of work.
In advance of applying the above three visa categories, the applicant would need an endorsement from an authorised organisation. We would assist you with the endorsement preparation and visa application.
2. Work visas
Skilled worker visa – you have received a job offer from a licensed UK employer to do a specific skilled job.
Global Business Mobility visa – you are an existing worker of overseas business who is going to undertake temporary worker assignments in the UK, e.g. business expansion to the UK or work replacement.
Scale-up Worker visa – you have been recruited by a UK scale-up sponsor and you have the skills necessary to enable that business to continue growing.
Graduate visa – you would be granted permission to work or look for work in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a relevant qualification in the UK.
High Potential Individual – you would be granted permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years if you are an international graduate who has been awarded a qualification within the last 5 years from one of the world’s top 50 non-UK universities.
3. Study visas
Student visa - you are over 16 years old and you have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor.
Child Student visa – you are between 4 and 17 years old and you have been offered a place on a course by an independent licensed school.
Parent of a Child Student visa – your child is aged between 4 and 11 and is attending an independent school in the UK under a Child Student visa, and you wish to accompany your child in the UK.
4. Hong Kong BN(O) visas
You are from Hong Kong and are a British national (overseas), you and your close family members could come to live, work and study in the UK. A change in the rules from this autumn will allow children of BN(O) status holders, who was born on or after 1st July, 1997 and aged 18 or over to apply to the BN(O) route independently.
You will not need to have a valid BN(O) passport to submit your application, as the Home Office should be able to check your status from records.
5. Join family in the UK
There are many types of family member visa that fall under different visa categories. Most of visa options allows the main applicant to bring their spouse, unmarried partner, and children to the UK. The family members will be given permission to stay in the UK for the same duration of the main applicant’s leave.
You can apply for joining your spouse/ fiancé/ fiancée/ proposed civil partner if they are British or Irish citizen, or have settlement status, or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
In certain cases, you could apply to join child/ parent/ relative who’ll provide long-term care for you in the UK.
Permanent residence and British citizenship
Most of the above mentioned visa options can lead to permanent residence after five years. Innovator and Global Talent applicants can apply for settlement after three years if certain relevant requirements are met. For any temporary visas, you need to plan carefully given your intention is to stay in the UK longer by switching to another permanent visa category when appropriate.
You also need to pay attention to your continuous residence if your ultimate goal is to obtain British citizenship. We will guide you through the entire immigration journey from the initial visa to the British passport.
Immigration and pre-arrival tax planning
Where individuals and families are looking to move to and then spend considerable time in the UK, it is very important to consider the tax implications on of becoming UK tax resident on global assets including income and gains that may arise. Advice should be taken well in advance of becoming UK resident to maximise the favourable tax reliefs that available to you to bring over assets in a tax efficient way. This will ensure that you move to the UK, together with our immigration advice, is smooth and achieves and the peace of mind that is needed for such transaction.
Immigration and foreign worker recruitment
UK companies increasingly seek out international talent to grow their business. We will assess your business and potential hires, providing both immigration and employment advice to ensure that you are fully prepared to comply with the duties the Home Office places upon worker sponsors. Our approach is to seamlessly embed this complex legal process into your existing business operations and enable you to be confident in your status as a Skilled Worker sponsor, Temporary Worker sponsor, or Scale-up business.